Cotswold voters head to the polls next week to elect a representative for the Lechlade, Kempsford and Fairford South ward on the District Council.

The Cotswold District Council by-election was triggered by the resignation of Liberal Democrat Councillor Clare Muir.

The vacant seat is being contested by candidates from the Conservatives, Labour, Lib Dems and an Independent and the poll will be held on December 14 from 7am to 10pm.

Candidates have set out below why they believe people should vote for them to take up the other seat in the two-member ward. Liberal Democrat Helene Mansilla also represents Lechlade, Kempsford and Fairford South.

The current political makeup of the council is 20 Liberal Democrats, nine Tories, two Green Party councillors and two Independents.

Conservative Party candidate Stephen Andrews.

“I have lived in the ward with my wife Rosemary since 2006. After 35 years in the army, ending with my appointment as defence attache to Beirut, I became increasingly involved with local matters where I could use my skills and experience to help within my community.

“Locally for example, I am a member of the Fairford Surgery Patient Participation Group, a volunteer community first responder with the ambulance service and provide first aid support at local events.

“When I was a district councillor I focussed on local issues including housing, footpaths, flood mitigation, planning, quarries and relations with RAF Fairford.

“I continue to work on many issues that affect the village as a Kempsford Parish councillor.

“Living in the ward, I am keen to continue using my knowledge and experience to the benefit of our communities. An experienced and strong local voice for this part of the Cotswolds.”

Labour Party candidate Anna Mainwaring

Anna has worked as a TV news producer for the BBC, ITV and Channel 4. She is a mum and a former school governor of Ampney Crucis Church of England Primary School.

“I believe that our country needs better politicians, both nationally and locally. It’s important that people put themselves forward for election who have fresh ideas, who listen to voters, and who will ensure practical policies are put in place to make people’s lives better.

“It’s also important for women to put themselves forward. Too often we are caught up with childcare and caring responsibilities but our voices need to be heard.

“As a journalist, former school governor and a local mum I have a track record of being proactive and delivering results. I pledge to listen to all constituents and be visible and approachable.

“I would work hard for everyone in Lechlade, Kempsford and Fairford South and fight for local priorities.”

Liberal Democrat candidate Tristan Wilkinson

Tristan lives just outside Fairford, where he lives with his wife Sarah and their two children. He is a senior business consultant and has worked with the Number 10 policy unit under three Prime Ministers.

“I’ve lived here for 17 years and I’ve seen first-hand that we have kind and generous communities who care about their neighbours and making our area better.

“I’ve spent my career helping people. In 2019 I co-founded a charity which helps people to use technology, particularly elderly and vulnerable people, because people often feel left behind with the speed of change, nobody should feel like this and I made my mission to support them.

“I believe helping people is the most important part of being a good councillor and that’s why I’ve decided to stand in the by-election to replace Clare. I want to be a strong voice on issues that residents have said matter to them.”

Also standing in the election is Independent Marshall Regan.